An unlucky day for those in the Rider Nation is the complete opposite the front office and fans of the Montreal Alouettes.
News broke this morning that the Saskatchewan Roughriders have traded Darian Durant – their Grey Cup winning quarterback – to the Montreal Alouettes in exchange for two draft picks.
Alouettes General Manager Kavis Reed, who spent time in Saskatchewan as the special teams coordinator, says that his team did their due diligence and are confident they’ll be able to sign Durant in the one month window before free agency.
“We analyzed all the risk of doing this and we feel that we put ourselves in a better position to have his rights right now, not to have someone else introduced into the fray,” Reed said at a press conference in Montreal on Friday.
The move was agreed to on the Roughriders side because of a risk analysis as well. Riders head coach and general manager Chris Jones said once it became apparent the Riders would not come to a deal with Durant, they embarked on this route.
“It started becoming a reality that we’re staring at losing Darian Durant to free agency and in order to avoid doing that we wanted to get something out of him,” Jones said.
The Alouettes believe they’re getting something too, a bonafied starter.
“We expect Darian to be our starter if we are able to get a deal consummated,” Reed said. “Darian is a proven leader, he’s a winner. He understands the building process as well.”
Reed said although he hasn’t yet spoken with Darian Durant in person, because Durant was in transit on vacation, they exchanged texts in the morning and they hope to talk more Friday evening.
“We are in a situation where we want to win right away,” Reed said. “Having someone of his caliber gives us three things: a quarterback that can help us win, gives us a leader on the field and in the locker room and also it gives us someone who can serve as an example for the next guy that we’re hoping to develop.”
The Alouettes have until Feb. 14 to work out a deal with Durant before he becomes a free agent and is able to sign with any team in the CFL.